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Match 15
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6:00 PM UTC
Match 17
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12:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
Match 19
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Saudi Arabia
3:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
Match 18
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6:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
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Tactics: How do Egypt beat Russia?


Commons form due to Scotland omission

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons has put his impressive displays for his club down to being left in the international wilderness by Scotland.

Commons, 29, has been in inspired form for Celtic this season and was their best player in their 1-0 home win over Hearts on Sunday, setting up Georgios Samaras' winner.

However, he remains in international exile ahead of Scotland's crucial upcoming World Cup double header against Wales and Belgium. He has not featured in their squad since the Carling Nations Cup in May 2011, when he pulled out with a hamstring problem after citing exhaustion.

Scotland manager Craig Levein has stated that others are ahead of Commons in his position, but with the player in such fine form, many are baffled by his omission.

Commons is eager for an international return, but the former Derby player insists it is currently the last thing he is worrying about.

"I think when I first came up to Celtic I probably took it for granted that I would always be in the squad or playing - it felt like I was just part of the set-up," he told Celtic's official programme. "But now I haven't been involved for a long while, so it's just at the back of my mind.

"I'm just thinking SPL, Champions League football, and I have my wife and kids back home. It's the last thing on my mind just now. I think it's probably why I'm playing so well at the minute as I'm focusing all my efforts on Celtic.''

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes Commons is in the form of his life and is sure a recall is just around the corner.

"He again was fantastic on Sunday. I thought his all-round game was brilliant - he was the avenue for a lot of our good play,'' Lennon said. "He had a great ball in for Samaras but some of his other play was of exceptionally high standard.

"I'm sure he would help Scotland along the way and I'm sure he would want to help Scotland along the way. He has just got to keep performing the way he is and it will be sooner rather than later.

"I have no problem with Craig omitting him - in fact selfishly I'm delighted because it will give the wee man a chance to put his feet up for a couple of days. He is disappointed - who wouldn't be? It's a natural feeling, he would like to play, but on the flip side of that his wife is heavily pregnant and he has two young kids as well, so he is maybe grateful he can spend more time with family at this stage.''


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